Governor Laura Kelly recently announced the latest recipients for the Historic Economic Asset Lifeline (HEAL) grant program and a local Lindsborg business will be one of beneficiaries of the award. The City of Lindsborg submitted the grant application on behalf of The Good Merchant, a retail boutique located in downtown Lindsborg, which has been owned and operated by Tyler and Molly Johnson since 2017.
"We are extremely grateful for the chance to continue the enhancement of our historic downtown building. This opportunity will contribute to the growth and vibrancy of our community," said Molly Johnson.
The HEAL program's goal is to revitalize underutilized and dilapidated downtown structures where the cost to rehabilitate exceeds the amount that traditional financing can cover. As part of the grant award, projects must be completed within two years.
The building that houses The Good Merchant was built in 1901 and was originally named the Lindsborg Mercantile Co. The structure is listed on the State Registry of Historic Places and the city and Johnsons will work closely with the Kansas Historical Society on this renovation project. The renovations to the building will include a new roof, windows, awning, front door, paint, and signage. The goal is for these improvements to help enhance both aesthetics and functionality, while fostering a welcoming and visually appealing space for the Lindsborg downtown community. Currently, the plan is to have work begin as early as this spring and wrapping up in 2026.
"Thanks to the generous matching grant, we can expedite essential improvements which will enhance this downtown space. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the city, especially to City Administrator Kristi Northcutt, for their crucial support in the grant application. Their partnership was vital in qualifying for the grant," said Johnson.
The Johnsons say they are committed to preserving the historical integrity of the building, while embracing a new era of community vitality. Twenty-one of the 51 applicants received funding during this awards round. The program is expected to reopen for application in the summer. To learn more about the HEAL program, visit the Kansas Commerce website, kansascommerce.gov/community-development/heal.